Wellington (AFP) – The one-year-old son of All Black Vaea Fifita was rushed to hospital after being injured by an airport conveyor belt, the player confirmed Friday on the eve of the first Test against France.
The toddler was somehow carried into Auckland Airport’s baggage handling area on Thursday as the family checked-in.
Staff at the airport were reviewing video footage to find out how the accident happened.
“He had an operation on his arm and is doing okay,” Fifita said. “My partner and I would like to thank airport, emergency services and hospital staff for all their support.”
Paula Fifita, who turns two this month, was said to be in a stable condition.
The All Blacks’ blindside flanker posted on Facebook last week how much he was enjoying being with his sons before they left for Tonga while he was involved in the Test series against France.
Fifita, who can also double at lock, has been named on the bench for the first Test and an All Blacks spokesman confirmed he remained in the match-day 23 despite the accident.
A Civil Aviation Authority spokesman said staff were “extremely surprised” to discover a child in the baggage handling system.